Same-day delivery isn’t wanted says NetDespatch UK Delivery report

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NetDespatch have published the results of their NetDespatch UK Delivery report 2019 and contrary to popular belief delivery speed isn’t the ultimate solution for ecommerce that we’ve been led to believe. Same-day delivery isn’t critical at all with only a tiny percentage (3%) of consumers stating that they want same-day delivery. Even next-day delivery was only a pre-requisite for 29% on a regular basis. A massive 62% of consumers are generally happy with a 2-5 day delivery promise.

The survey, carried out by independent research organisation Opinion Matters, examined consumer sentiment around parcel delivery choices, exploring what consumers want from a positive delivery experience and what suppliers actually deliver. It found that, while having a predicted delivery slot and timely order and delivery confirmation are important to UK consumers, just three per cent say that same-day delivery is a must-have, while almost half have no desire to use additional self-service options offered by retailers.

The biggest takeaway is that customers want a delivery to home in a reasonable time frame but critcially want to know where their parcel is and be kept informed with tracking and update notifications.

Key findings from the NetDespatch UK Delivery report 2019

  • Delivery speed – 3% of respondents said that they want same-day delivery, 29% say next day delivery is usually sufficient while 62% are happy with 2-5 day delivery stating it is usually ok
  • 48% are not in favour of more self-service options
  • 82% prefer goods to be delivered to their home address
  • 41% will not order from a supplier that does not offer their preferred delivery option
  • Half of respondents have no preferred carrier on the basis of delivery options. For 24%, Royal Mail is the carrier of choice

Same-day delivery is not a panacea

“The results expose the myth that consumers want ever-faster deliveries and multiple self-service delivery options. This should be a welcome reality check that what customers primarily want is to know that their order has been successfully taken and delivered, and when they can expect their parcel.”
– Matthew Robertson, co-CEO, NetDespatch

Asked what makes a positive delivery experience, 96% of respondents said order confirmations were fairly or very important, 91% valued a predicted delivery window and 92% said delivery confirmations were fairly or very important.

Less value was placed on options such as in-flight redelivery, which 46% said was not at all or not very important to them. Similarly, 48% said they were not in favour of more self-service options, despite this having been an area of significant recent investment for retailers and carriers.

Home delivery remains the most popular option

82% of respondents prefer to have parcels delivered to their home address when delivering to their home. Delivery to the workplace is the preferred option for just 10% of respondents. 25% said they preferred having items delivered to a safe place, while 24% would rather have parcels delivered to neighbours.

Despite these preferences, respondents said that suppliers don’t always offer the basic delivery options they would like (59%) cited at least one preference which suppliers do not offer. This is a risk, as 41% said they will not order from a supplier that doesn’t give them the delivery options they prefer.

More than a quarter (26%) of respondents with a preference regarding delivery options when ordering goods to their home said suppliers didn’t offer convenient delivery at a time they would be at home. This was particularly a problem for those who work full time either at home or away from home, 29% of whom said this was their preferred option but was not always offered by suppliers. 10% said suppliers didn’t offer a ‘leave with a neighbour’ option, while 12% said some suppliers didn’t offer delivery to a nominated safe space.
When it comes to missed deliveries, 52% of respondents who had been not been at the delivery location then their delivery arrived said that carriers did not fulfil their preferred options for a missed delivery.

“In the light of these consumer preferences the question is whether, by focusing obsessively on delivery speed and offering more and more out-of-home options, the industry is unnecessarily setting itself up to fail? Our survey indicates that UK consumers prefer straightforward delivery-to-home in a one to five-day time frame at a time that suits them. They want an accurate service that tells them when to expect their delivery. They are not looking for alternative options such as parcel locker or in-boot delivery. These have become red herrings that distract from what the customer really wants from parcel delivery.”
– Matthew Robertson, co-CEO, NetDespatch

Among the surveyed consumers, half had no preference for which carrier was used. Royal Mail was the most popular, chosen by 24% on the basis of its delivery options. DPD was next most popular, selected by just over 10%. No other carrier ranked higher than 8% with consumers.

“This general lack of carrier loyalty means there’s an opportunity for a carrier that really listens to customer preferences, offers them the delivery service they actually want, to come in and make a name for themselves – no gimmicks, just good, predictable service.”
– Matthew Robertson, co-CEO, NetDespatch

7 Responses

  1. Someone let Ebay know…. They seem to think that everyone wants everything within hours… Strange as express delivery is rarely requested with us.

  2. Must admit since I dropped 24 hrs delivery to 48 hrs on eBay mainly as there is nothing in it for us anymore all I have done is save myself money, still have 5 star metrics.
    Dpd is my preferred courier simply as we get a delivery slot communicated to us on the morning, so you know your not hanging about all day.

  3. What people *want* and what people are willing to pay for are very different things. I ordered car parts from Europarts and their same day delivery was cheap so it was a no brainer.

  4. My customers rate a well wrapped item more highly than fast delivery. I always thought fast delivery was a nonsense especially when you live in a rural location

  5. I would agree with the above comments and also add that communication is key – knowing where your delivery is at any stage is more important that the speed of which it gets there, especially if your purchase is non urgent.

    These days, on the marketplaces especially, it is “free” postage and to be price competitive sellers choose the cheapest postage option i.e. Royal Mail 48/ myHermes.

    Buyers, and best match search results, will often choose price as the most important factor over delivery time. We offer 99p upgrades for express delivery and very seldom is it chosen, even for time sensitive products such as a Christening Gift ordered Thursday, needed for Sunday. Perhaps, therefore, it also depends on how buyers are presented with the choice of delivery services during checkout process.


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